Petition Submitted To FAA To Revise WINGS Program

Petition Submitted To FAA To Revise WINGS Program For Experienced Pilots – ‘Pro-WINGS’ Program Would Recognize Pilots Who Fly Frequently And Stay Proficient

Two aviation professionals have submitted a petition to the FAA for a change in one of its signature safety programs. Robert A. Wright, President of Wright Aviation Solutions, and Kent Ewing, President of Bonanza/Baron Pilot Training, have joined together to file a petition with the FAA to modify its WINGS program. They have named their proposed change the “Pro-WINGS” program.

The petition is asking the FAA to recognize that pilots who stay current at a consistent level of flying tend to retain their pilot skills better than pilots that fly infrequently. The existing WINGS program may be used to substitute for a flight review. However the WINGS program requires pilots to receive three hours of dual instruction annually if their participation is to be counted as a flight review.

The petition proposes that pilots with a high level of recent experience could substitute the three hours of dual instruction for a single instructional flight every two years. Under the proposed Pro-WINGS program this instruction would be scenario-based and highly tailored towards aeronautical decision-making skills.

For those pilots who demonstrate and log such high activity, the petitioners believe that they would not require annual dual instruction under the WINGS program. These pilots would, however, be required to successfully perform the following requirements:

Complete an annual risk management course accepted by the FAA.
Remain accident, incident, and violation free while enrolled in the enhanced WINGS program.
Log a minimum number of hours and specific flight events annually for the entire period of their training cycle.
Complete a scenario-based skill flight with an authorized instructor every two years, with minimum skill elements specified by the FAA.
The petitioners say that the existing wings program is good for pilots who do not have a high recent level of experience but that it misses the point for pilots that are already maintaining proficiency.